The use of a novel intense pulsed light and heat source and ALA-PDT in the treatment of moderate to severe inflammatory acne vulgaris

J Drugs Dermatol. Nov-Dec 2004;3(6 Suppl):S15-9.


The use of lasers and noncoherent light sources is becoming more commonplace in the treatment of inflammatory acne vulgaris. Topical 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is finding its niche as an enhancer to these laser and light sources. Twenty patients with moderate to severe inflammatory acne vulgaris were enrolled in a clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of ALA-PDT with activation by a SkinStation LHE (Radiancy, Inc., Orangeburg, NY), a novel intense pulsed light (IPL) and heat source that emits 430-nm to 1100-nm radiation at 3 to 9 J/cm2 fluences. Patients were given topical ALA (Levulan Kerastick, Dusa Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Wilmington, MA) photosensitizing agent that remained in contact with skin for one hour before irradiation. Fifteen patients completed the trial and 12 responded to the treatment. Among respondents, reduction in active inflammatory acne lesions was, on average, 50.1% at the end of the 4-week treatment period, 68.5% 4 weeks after the final treatment, and 71.8% 12 weeks after the final treatment. ALA-PDT with IPL activation was well-tolerated by all patients. No treated lesion recurred at the end of the follow-up period. ALA-PDT with IPL activation is a treatment option for patients with moderate to severe inflammatory acne vulgaris.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology
  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Aminolevulinic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Aminolevulinic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photochemotherapy*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / administration & dosage
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Aminolevulinic Acid